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Robert Johnson, PhD

Robert Johnson Philosophy

I have always believed that business is the ultimate “applied discipline” and appreciate the practical perspective of the Heider College of Business. My ambition as a college professor has always been to not only prepare students for careers in business but to help them facilitate making connections with business leaders to help initiate those careers. I repeatedly heard during interviews that investment management firms wanted people with some practical money management experience, and my students were at a disadvantage. To rectify that situation, in 1992, I established the Portfolio Practicum to give students the industry experiences many prospective employers deemed necessary. At that time, it was the country’s only two-course sequence in which undergraduate students managed real money.

Since then, Creighton’s Portfolio Practicum has served as the model for numerous other university curriculums. With over a quarter of a century preparing its students for successful careers in investments, Portfolio Practicum is achieving my dream of giving graduates a competitive edge in the job market.

Of course, research is an extremely important component of the portfolio of a college professor. Early on in my career I decided to only research real-world concepts and problems. My litmus test was “Would a practitioner be interested in this?” If the answer was no, I would pass on the potential research activity.

Collaboration also drives me. We can accomplish so much more working together. The Heider College is a very collaborative, synergistic environment.


Dr. Johnson received his Ph.D. in finance from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1989. He joined Creighton University in 1984 and attained the rank of full professor in 1995.

He left Creighton in 1996 to join The Association for Investment Management and Research (now CFA Institute). At CFA Institute, he was deputy CEO and had responsibility for all educational activities, including the prestigious CFA Program. He left CFA Institute in 2011 and rejoined the faculty at Creighton University. In 2014, he became president of The American College of Financial Services, an accredited, degree-granting institution based in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. He returned to the faculty at Creighton University in 2018.

He earned the CFA Charter in 1991 and the CAIA (Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst) charter in 2011.

View Dr. Robert R. Johnson’s Curriculum Vitae

Other Experience

Dr. Johnson is also chairman and CEO of Economic Index Associates, a NYC-based firm that creates investable indexes tied to macroeconomic indicators, such as the IFED series of indexes that are based upon Federal Reserve monetary policy. EIA licenses those proprietary indexes as the basis for financial products. In partnership with UBS, EIA currently has two products that trade on the New York Stock Exchange.

Board Memberships

Dr. Johnson is a current member of the Financial Expert Review Board at Bankrate. He is past board member of RS Investments, The Virginia Institute of Autism, Midwest Finance Association, Eastern Finance Association and International Advisory Board (Risk and Asset Management Research Centre) of EDHEC University.

Honors and Awards

Bob won several teaching awards at Creighton, including the university-wide Robert F. Kennedy Award for Teaching Excellence in 1994. In 2013, he received the Alfred C. “Pete” Morley Distinguished Service Award from CFA Institute in appreciation of his leadership, stewardship and outstanding service.

Nobel Prize laureate Eugene Fama served as the referee for his 1996 Journal of Financial Economics paper. The paper was cited by former Fed Chair and Nobel laureate Ben Bernanke is his work.

Dr. Johnson has published extensively in the areas of Federal Reserve monetary policy, portfolio management, asset valuation, value investing and personal financial planning.

Journal Contributions

Dr. Johnson has over 80 refereed articles in leading finance and investment journals. His publications have appeared in the Journal of Finance, Journal of Financial Economics, Journal of Portfolio Management and The Financial Analysts Journal, among others.

A full list of Dr. Johnson’s journal contributions may be found in his Curriculum Vitae.


Dr. Johnson has co-authored several books including Invest with the Fed, Strategic Value Investing, Investment Banking for Dummies and The Tools and Techniques of Investment Planning.

Robert Johnson book covers

Monograph and Book Chapters

Dr. Johnson co-authored a monograph for the CFA Institute Research Foundation entitled The Role of Monetary Policy in Investment Management. He has co-authored chapters in several books, including The Encyclopedia of Financial Models, The Handbook of Fixed Income Securities, The Theory and Practice of Investment Management, The Handbook of Modern Finance, The Handbook of Financial Instruments and Professional Perspectives on Fixed Income Portfolio Management.

He has also authored content that has been published in the CFA Program curriculum.

Dr. Johnson has extensive media relations experience both in the United States and abroad. He has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Barron's, Forbes, Fortune, Globe and Mail and The South China Morning Post, among others. He has appeared numerous times on ABC World News, Bloomberg TV (Europe and U.S.), CNN and China Business News, among others. He is a regular contributor on The Street, Huffington Post and El Mercurio (Chile).

An expert on Federal Reserve monetary policy, value investing, portfolio management and personal financial planning, Dr. Johnson is a captivating speaker who prides himself on being able to simplify concepts for audiences with widely varying backgrounds and experiences, as evidenced by his authorship of Investment Banking for Dummies.

Frequently Requested Topics:

  • Federal Reserve monetary policy and capital market returns
  • Common investing myths
  • Value investing
  • Berkshire Hathaway and Warren Buffett
  • Behavioral and emotional obstacles to investing

Please feel free to contact Dr. Johnson directly about his ability to speak to these and other topics.

Talking Points

  • His research has documented significant associations between Federal Reserve monetary policy and asset returns. He feels that investors ignore the Fed at their own peril.
  • He has been a guest on national and international TV networks, including ABC World News, Bloomberg TV, CNN, BNN (Canada) and China Business News.
  • He has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Barron's, Forbes, Fortune, Globe and Mail and The South China Morning Post, among others. He is frequently asked to comment on market activity.
  • His book, Strategic Value Investing, was included on Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting Reading list for four consecutive years.
  • Investors often overcomplicate investing; a KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) strategy is appropriate for most investors.
  • Behavioral and emotional biases result in poor investment performance. Recognition of these biases can improve investment outcomes.
  • Investors often confuse investing with speculating.
  • One can learn a lot of valuable lessons from examining the investment philosophy of investment icons such as Warren Buffett. Investing is one discipline in which “plagiarism” is not only accepted but leads to better outcomes.   

Robert Johnson Photos

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Johnson headshot and panel with Warren Buffett

Media Queries and Event/Booking Information

Casey Hoag

Other Questions

Dr. Robert R. Johnson